England manager Gareth Southgate has been discussing the decision from Chelsea to loan out Ruben Loftus-Cheek and has suggested that it’s a positive move providing he gets more regular game-time.
The 24-year-old has completed a season-long loan move to newly-promoted side Fulham, who look like they will have a tough battle on their hands to stay in the Premier League this season.
He is a major fan favourite at Stamford Bridge after coming through the Blues academy as a youngster, but a long-term injury has massively halted his career.
The midfielder was part of the England squad during the nation’s World Cup tournament in 2018, plus he was integral in Chelsea wining the Europa during the 2018/19 season under Maurizio Sarri.
But soon after Loftus-Cheek missed the best part of a year with an injury and he’s been unable to force his way fully into the plans of Chelsea boss Frank Lampard since returning to fitness.
He will now be looking to regain some form at London neighbours Fulham and they will be extremely fortunate if he gets firing again.
Southgate certainly didn’t shut the door on Loftus-Cheek returning to the England fold at some stage, but highlights that he needs to get back to playing regularly.
“If there is more likelihood of playing football regularly at Fulham, given the amount of football that Ruben has unfortunately missed with various injuries, then for his own development and for his own enjoyment of his career then I think that’s key,” Southgate said, as quoted by England’s official Twitter account.
“If he can play well then getting back in the England team gets on the radar. He’s missed nearly 18 months, really unfortunate to get the injury. He was having a super spell with Chelsea going into the latter stages of the Europa League, misses nearly a year, then just as he’s getting back to fitness we have the pandemic so he’s missed a huge chunk.
“We know the talent that he has, we know what he’s capable of, hopefully he can get back to playing regularly with Fulham and then he can go from there.”